Time to Cherish Enable on UK Soil for the Final Time

It’s not quite the end of an era, but it is as far as racing on UK soil goes, assuming there isn’t a massive change of plan anyway. Time is coming on the end of Enable’s career as a racehorse and the five year old mare will bow out from UK racing with a run in the Yorkshire Oaks at York on Thursday. Enable has wowed us all since dominating the Oaks over two years ago, a race which was the third of 12 wins we have seen her take so far. It is likely that she will run here and then over in France at Longchamp where she tries to win the Arc for a third time, and if she turns her 12 wins into 14 in those two races then she will add to her already illustrious racing career and no doubt go down as one of the best racing mares we have ever seen.

It is off the track, next season and beyond, where she really could make a name for herself, and that is in the breeding barn. Although stallions get the chance to cover many mares and give themselves more chances of glory, it is the small but select group of sons and daughters that Enable will hopefully have that will really catch the eye of the public, perhaps even more so than the crop of Frankel, as there are so many of them.

Talking of the great Frankel and it is likely that he will be her first covering in the breeding barn, something that would happen next year. That means in three seasons from now, we could be seeing a filly or colt by Frankel out of Enable grace the turf. It would be great to see that horse at York, after both mum and dad have performed so well at the track in the past, and this is where Enable will say goodbye to her UK fans.

Onto the race tomorrow and she faces just three rivals, with one of those coming from the same yard as John Gosden looked to give the race a little bit of depth. It looks to be a two horse matchup between Enable and Magical from the Aidan O’Brien yard, but clear preference is for the Gosden filly. These two horses have met previously on three occasions, with Enable winning them all and there is nothing in the form book to suggest that a turnaround is likely.

There may have only been three quarters of a length between them in the Coral Eclipse when they met most recently, but things were against Enable that day as she was just coming back from a break, whereas Magical was on the top of her game, and still couldn’t get in front. This race should see Enable in a better light, and give her a more convincing winning margin.

The only issue for me is that this could turn out to be a very tactical race. We have four runners, two from one stable and two from another. Neither of the two outsiders will want to do anything to harm the chances of their first string, so it will be interesting to see how those two ride, will they add pace into the race or allow the main two to set their own pace and battle it out? Either way, there is a recipe here for things to get a little messy, and that is something worth bearing in mind if you are taking the short odds available on Enable.

This race is not just about betting though, it is about saying goodbye from the UK to a wonderful mare. She is one of the best we have ever seen, and another couple of wins will only elevate that further. She looks set to land the first of those when she steps onto York racecourse on Thursday afternoon.